Atlanta Dream Head Coach Tanisha Wright was named the Associated Press (AP) Coach of the Year, and guard Rhyne Howard was named the AP Rookie of the Year, it was announced today.
Head Coach Tanisha Wright led the Dream to 14 wins, the second-most for a first-year head coach in franchise history. After taking over a team with just four returning players, Wright turned Atlanta into a playoff contender with the most wins the franchise has seen since 2018. She drafted Howard, who was named an All-Star this season, with the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 WNBA Draft and coached guard Aari McDonald and forward Cheyenne Parker to career-best performances this season.
Wright becomes the first former WNBA player to be recognized as the AP Coach of the Year.
Howard finished her exciting first season in the league as one of the top-scoring players in the WNBA, and led all rookies in points, assists and steals throughout the season. She set the WNBA record for most made and attempted three-pointers by a rookie, going 85-of-248 from beyond the arc (34.3%). Howard finished the season with 552 points, the only rookie in the league this season and the first-ever Dream rookie to eclipse 500 points. She concluded her first season with 30 double-figure scoring games, the most of any Atlanta Dream rookie and the fifth-most for any Dream player in franchise history.
AP Season Awards
Player of the Year: Breanna Stewart (SEA)
Coach of the Year: Tanisha Wright (ATL)
Rookie of the Year: Rhyne Howard (ATL)
Most Improved Player: Jackie Young (LVA)
Comeback Player: Alyssa Thomas (CON)
Defensive Player of the Year: A’ja Wilson (LVA)
Sixth Woman of the Year: Brionna Jones (CON)
AP All-Rookie Team: Rhyne Howard (ATL), NaLyssa Smith (IND), Shakira Austin (WAS), Rebekah Gardner (CHI), Sam Thomas (PHO)
AP First Team All-WNBA: Breanna Stewart (SEA), A’ja Wilson (LVA), Candace Parker (CHI), Kelsey Plum (LVA), Sabrina Ionescu (NYL)
AP Second Team All-WNBA: Jonquel Jones (CON), Nneka Ogwumike (LAS), Alyssa Thomas (CON), Courtney Vandersloot (CHI), Skylar Diggins-Smith (PHO)
Rhyne Howard’s 2022 Accolades
- WNBA AT&T All-Star
- Associated Press Rookie of the Year
- WNBA Kia Rookie of the Month – August
- WNBA Kia Rookie of the Month – July
- WNBA Kia Rookie of the Month – June
- WNBA Kia Rookie of the Month – May
- WNBA Eastern Conference Player of the Week – May 15
- Associated Press Player of the Week – May 16
The WNBA will release its 2022 awards beginning April 19 with the Kim Perrot Sportsmanship Award. For a full schedule of postseason award announcements, please click here.
Photo: Adam Hagy/NBAE